Soon, SA will turn those water cannons on the ANC

Ideas

Soon, SA will turn those water cannons on the ANC

It happened to the NUM at Marikana and it will happen to the ruling party, which is fast losing touch with its people

Columnist

THE ANC’s leadership should do itself a big favour and hold a workshop with leaders of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). It should try to speak specifically to NUM kingpins from the past 15 years.

The union could teach the ANC a lot about how an organisation can lose touch with its members and how leaders can find themselves becoming increasingly distant from their constituencies. The NUM could teach the party about loss of dominance and power. It could teach the ANC about realising that perhaps you will never be top dog again.

The NUM can teach these lessons because you can pinpoint, to the day, even hour, when the once-most-powerful union in the country began its slow decline — perhaps even its inevitable death. The NUM, started by President Cyril Ramaphosa and others in 1982, grew like wildfire to become the most influential player in South African labour relations. In the 1980s it struck down job reservation, the system that allocated well-paid, skilled jobs to whites only, thereby dealing a huge blow to apartheid...

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